Yesterday was a lovely day, but for some reason I didn’t eat a lot. I had breakfast before shooting my video but then I went out to Zeroday and had a lunch that consisted of humus, pretzel bits, and beer.
I also stopped off at the Midtown Scholar book store for a muffin and tea, because that’s always a good way to take the edge off.
Then I went home, napped, and went skating without food or water. While I made it, I was trying to see how fast I could skate and didn’t do as well as I expected. I have no picture, which is probably for the best. However, I did shoot some video–
This was my first fast run, where I covered the equivalent of 25.7 laps in 4:59. This first was done while playing The Doobie Brothers’ Without You, hence the title of the video:
And this was me just screwing around while listening to the Genesis song Duchess. This was the first time I tried skating backwards outside and it’s really not as easy there as it is when you’re on a nice, smooth rink floor. Also, I sing–if what you want to call the sounds coming out of my mouth “singing”. It’s all somewhat amusing.
So, about that story–
I’ve finally finished the scene, writing twenty-three hundred words in five days. Not bad, I say, not bad. One more scene to complete and Chapter Twenty-Eight is history and I don’t have to worry about writing it when I get to this point, as it’s already written.
What happens at the end of this scene? Let’s find out:
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)
“Media teams are those people who show up in the aftermath of—situations—and fix things so that Normals believe different events have occurred.” Helena lightly tapped the surface of her desk. “In some instances they’ll also work on the memories of people, both Normal and Aware, so that they are unaware of what really happened.”
Annie’s eyes grew slightly wider. “They can do that?”
“Of course they can. You’ve already been exposed to that aspect.”
The young sorceress thought for a moment. “Tanith and her father.”
Helena nodded. “Correct. Her knowledge of both of you and Erywin was removed and both she and Kaden had their memories adjusted so they would remember their new family history better. That way there are no slip ups.”
“Would they have been involved with the family of the girl that died?” A somewhat worried look began to form on Kerry’s face. “Ruth, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, it was.”
“Did they make her family forget her?”
“I don’t know: I wasn’t told. My guess is they brought in another child and did a ‘cut and paste’ as they like to call it.” Helena didn’t look at Kerry as she finished her though. “If Emma and you had died during the Day of the Dead, a media team would have likely showed up at both houses and ‘adjusted’ everyone’s memories of you.”
This was something Kerry always suspected would have happened in the instance they’d fallen to their deaths the first time, or if they were both killed by the Abomination later, but now Helena was confirming that the Guardians would have likely done just that. “So, they’d have gotten another boy to take my place?”
“Probably a cute ginger girl—” Helena smiled at Kerry. “You know, to make your mother happy.”
Kerry stared back, his face frozen in a dead-pan mask. “This is my ‘Not Amused’ face. Can you tell, or do I need to go into more detail?”
Helena immediately realized she’d once more overstepped her boundaries with the lad. “Sorry, Kerry.”
He did a quick tit of his head to the right. “It’s okay.”
This is the second time–or is it three?–that Helena is given Kerry a dig about his mother wanting a girl more than a boy, and just as he did the other time he wasn’t all that happy about the dig. It’s been said before that everything at Salem–or that happens to these kids–is a test, so it’s likely that Helena’s little digs are a way of testing Kerry for–what? Who knows. Then again, maybe Helena’s just being a bitch. It’s not like it’s out of the question.
Turns out Annie’s got something on her mind as well–
There was something about Helena’s description of media teams that worried Annie. “Do they ever change the memories of operatives?”
“You mean like those operatives who may have had a vision of a future operation?” Helena leaned back in her chair. “Is that what you mean?”
“It’s been… known to happen.”
“What?” Kerry quick sat up straight. “They can’t really do that, can they?”
“Excuse me?” Helena leaned forward once more. “Do you remember receiving encrypted emails while you were away for Yule holiday? The ones from San Francisco by way of Amsterdam? The ones that assigned an ID number to you? You know: the ones you used in a debriefing a couple of weeks ago?” She planted her right elbow on her desk and rested her cheek against the back of her hand. “Face it, kiddies: you’re part of the family now and that means if The Guardians want to twist your brain around a little so you don’t remember certain things, they can. And there’s damn little you can do.”
For a bit of reference, this scene is happening at the end of January, 2014: 28 January, 2014, to be precise. This means it happens after The Polar Express and after Annie’s Girl’s Weekend Out. And it’s the second real confirmation that Annie and Kerry truly are operatives for the Guardians, because they now have official identification numbers.
And why do I say second real confirmation? Because there is a scene before this when Annie and Kerry as required to give their Guardian identifications during a debriefing, which you only do if you’re a real operative. And since you know you want to know their IDs, they are:
The first letters indicate where the ID was filed. In Helena’s case it was Amsterdam, Netherlands, Europe, while for Annie and Kerry it was San Francisco, United States, North America. Then you have a random seven digit number followed by a two-letter code indicating their operational status. For Helena she’s a “Field Operative” while Annie and Kerry are “Provisional (Field) Operatives”, indicating they still require supervision.
See? Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy.
So the question of “Are they or aren’t they?” is now answered: they are operatives, real ones. This makes them part of the family–and that means the Guardians can futz with their memories if they like. Which leads to this:
Annie and Kerry exchanged worried glances before Kerry asked a question. “Has it happened to you?”
“If it had—” Helena raised her right eyebrow. “—do you think they’d let me remember?”
Kerry nodded slowly. “Yeah, dumb question.”
“So…” Annie considered not asking the question, but knew she must. “Are you going to tell San Francisco what happen?”
Helena started at the surface of her desk for a few seconds before replying. “No.”
“May I ask why?”
She shifted her gaze to the girl across the desk from her. “My job, as your in-school handler, is to report regularly on your training progress—or your lack thereof. There is nothing laid out in my instructions about you requiring me to tell the Powers That Be about any visions you’ve had concerning your Guardian activities.” Helena shrugged. “And as I understand the way these things work, there’s always the possibility that what you saw won’t happen—so why get San Fran’s panties in a bunch over a mater that may never come to fruition?”
Again the couple exchanged a quick glance before Annie spoke for them both. “Thank you.”
“All right, now: get out of here. Go on.” Helena motioned towards the door. “And do not speak of what happened today in Divination. The less said—”
“The better.” Kerry was up and waving the door to the office over. “We know. Thanks.”
The moment the children left and the door was close Helena began tapping her lower lip with her right index finger. “And now that I’m done with you, I need to see a seer about a vision…”
And there you have it. While Annie and Kerry aren’t getting reported by Helena, the fact that their in-school handler–the first time we’ve heard her say this–needs to see a seer about a vision means Helena is going to have a chat with Deanna.
Any guesses about what they’re going to discuss?